Jack PC, the size of a wall outlet, albeit Europeon

There was a time when PCs were large, heavy, solid steel towers that were heavier than the typical monitor. Those days are long gone and PCs have gotten insanely small. Jade Integration, a British firm is expected to launch new PCs the size of a wall outlet -- the Jack PC. These aren’t your typical PCs used for playing games or typing up documents though. It’s designed for low power consumption, small size and runs Windows CE. A basic Internet Explorer 6.0 web browser is installed to surf the web or use web-driven applications.

The Jack PC isn’t really meant to operate on its own though. In a network environment it can connect to terminal servers using integrated Citrix ICA and Microsoft RDP clients. This will give the Jack PC greater functionality than just surfing the internet which makes it a great KIOSK or thin-client—a market VIA targets with the EPIA mini ITX and nano ITX system boards.

Thin-client and KIOSK systems thrive on low power consumption as everything is ran remotely on servers. The Jack PC has impressive power consumptions at around 5 watts for the whole system compared to a mini ITX based system at around 40-50 watts. Low power consumption is achieved by using not-so-spectacular hardware. An AMD RISC processor is used to keep power consumption low. There’s no mention of which AMD processor is used but it’s highly likely an AMD Alchemy Au1200 is used. Several speed grades will be available up to 500 MHz. Judging by the available Alchemy Au1200 speed grades, expect 333 MHz, 400 MHz, and 500 MHz models.

As far as storage and system memory goes, the Jack PC is equipped with 64 MB of flash memory for the OS and applications, and 128MB of DDR system memory. The Jack PC will be available in three models: the Jack PC EFI 6700, 6800, and 6900. Jack PC EFI 6700 and 6800 models are most likely come in 333 MHz and 400 MHz variants while the EFI 6900 will probably come with a 500 MHz processor. All Jack PCs have support for analog monitors, audio output, microphone input, and four USB ports. Video output is limited to 1280x1024 and 24-bit color which is adequate for a touch screen LCD or regular LCD.

Pricing is expected to be around £209, £279 and £349 or $390 to 660 USD for the Jack PC EFI 6700, EFI 6800, and EFI 6900 respectively.

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